Research Briefing | Jan 25, 2024

The long-term trends shaping global city consumer markets

Our long-term income and consumer spending forecasts reveal the high-potential urban consumer markets of the future. We identify four key trends underpinning shifts across global urban consumer markets over the coming decades.

What you will learn:

  1. A rising middle class fuels fast growth across cities in Asia. Rapid economic growth driven by productivity gains are supporting large rises in personal incomes across emerging Asia and China, underpinning a huge expansion in the potential of the Asian consumer market. Moreover, as these city economies grow richer, their populations’ consumption choices change with discretionary spending categories growing in importance.
  2. The African population boom underpins consumer growth, though little gains expected in purchasing power. African cities are in the midst of a demographic boom. And while individual incomes are not expected to grow substantially, the sheer volume of additional people will increase the size of their consumer markets. Spending patterns will, however, remain skewed towards essential/non-discretionary categories, such as food, clothing, and housing.
  3. The rise of the silver economy basket of goods. Growing older age cohorts with different consumption habits to younger cohorts create opportunities in different areas of consumption, notably the health goods and services category and other areas of recreation and hospitality.
  4. Advanced cities across the world, especially in the US, dominate urban consumer rankings today, and are expected to over the long term. However, there is a challenge arising from cities in China and other parts of emerging Asia, with cities such as Shanghai, Delhi, and Dhaka rising rapidly up the rankings.
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